Precautions with Breastfeeding


Alcohol passes from your breast milk to your baby. If you drink alcohol, breastfeed your baby before you drink the alcohol. Do not breastfeed your baby for at least 2 hours after you have 1 drink. One drink of alcohol is 12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of liquor.

Limit caffeine

Caffeine can also pass into your breast milk, so you may want to limit caffeine. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, some sodas, and energy drinks, and chocolate. Ask your dietitian how much caffeine you can have each day.


Some medications can pass through the breast milk and can be unsafe for your baby or affect your baby. Some medications can also interfere with producing milk. Make sure you contact your healthcare provider OR let them know you are breastfeeding before you start any medication.

Limit fish that contain mercury

Mercury is found in almost all types of fish and shellfish. The big fish eat the little fish and mercury accumulates each time it is eaten so the bigger the fish the higher the amount of mercury. Mercury can cause problems with your baby’s brain and nervous system development.  You may eat up to 12 ounces of fish or shellfish per week that have low levels of mercury. These include shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish. Eat only 6 ounces of albacore (white) tuna per week because Albacore tuna has more mercury than canned tuna. Do not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish.

Maternal cigarette second hand smokeSmoking

Breastfeeding mothers should stop smoking. Babies whose parents smoke can have breathing problems, lung infections, or ear infections. Smoking may also reduce the amount of milk that you make. Quitting smoking can be one of the hardest things to do, if you cannot quit then try to cut down on smoking.

Weight loss and breastfeeding

You may lose weight naturally by following a healthy diet while you are breastfeeding. This can happen because your body needs more calories while you are breastfeeding. This weight loss may not happen for all women. If you want to lose weight, do not cut down your calories too much or lose weight too quickly. This may cause you to decrease your milk supply or decrease your levels of certain nutrients. Most women can safely lose up to 2 pounds a week without affecting their milk supply or health.

Contact your healthcare provider

You should contact you healthcare provider if you are losing too much weight or if you think something you are eating is affecting your baby.